The eye, gazing out, cannot turn upon itself. And yet, this impossible task, to witness oneself in the act of seeing, is essential to the unification of consciousness; for there is nothing other that defines the intelligence of humanity than this common, shared opening to pure awareness.

To keep the witness unsullied, to even experience brief, precious moments of clarity, is an enormous undertaking – the worthy effort of countless lifetimes. To see that one sees. To glimpse the pure openness of being, to witness the witnesser before awareness disappears once more behind the veil, is a truly artful act of ontological gymnastics.

It is also, in the purest sense, to view the face of God. To see that which is unencompassable requires a fundamental recalibration of the consciousness of the apprehender. When one at last turns away, one is not the same awareness.

This witness – is it a pitiless face? Or one that silently reflects a boundless capacity for nonjudgmental encompassment? To see the seer in the act of seeing, to see that it sees and it sees and it does nothing other than see; this act of witnessing the seer reduces awareness to its essence, it enjoins the individuated awareness in its common project and in so doing necessarily eliminates the personal from the act of perception, the I from the eye.

Meditation calls upon one to be silent and still but not blind. Emptiness, permeated with the unspoken vibratory vitality of awareness, is not death. It is silent clarity. But then, then one turns one’s awareness toward the witness with the very speed of consciousness – so much faster than the speed of material light! – and, for a simple microsecond, all is the same. There is nothing more than knowing nothing, which, the great sages say, is moksha, or bliss.

Can one be satisfied with the momentary glimpse of nothingness? Is this the universally shared predicament of humanity, of Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita as he stands on his chariot between the unreliable gratifications of earthly existence and the apparent timeless vacuity of transcendence?

The eye of the seer is hard enough to catch, but even when one does, the moment of unity slips away with the same speed with which it came. Then, in a flash, one slides back into the dichotomizing polarities of awareness, of describing what one sees, of knowing what one sees, for with the triumph of idealism comes the forbidden knowledge – backed up by hard empirical data! – that mere perception is fundamental to creation itself. We are traveling on a train that creates not only the track that extends before it – that is a given! – but even the very track upon which it rests in the now. We make what we are, and we are sorely challenged to even momentarily witness the act of construction.

To think or not to think, to perceive or not to perceive, to be or not to be. Perhaps the ultimate illusion is that we believe we really are capable of asking the question; for even in the very act of questioning we have committed an act of ontological perjury in refusing to acknowledge that the very question is impossible. Can one ask a question before that very question has emerged?

The witness, the seer, sees but knows not, knows not that it knows and, in the end, knows not even that it knows not. After all this philosophizing that is the common fate of humanity, our most fundamental task, shared by all no matter what color or belief or size or epistemological framework – somehow, some way, we must join the witness in pure unreflective manifestation.